I have been running for a few weeks now and just found out about couch to 5K but I'm sort of already at about 3miles in each run, about 30min a run, 3 days a week. I have no concept of speed training and didn't understand the chart on cool running about 440's and 880's....I don't really have any particular goals of races, just trying to use running to stay healthy and relieve stress after taking care of 2 kiddos all day! I want to keep with running about 3 days a week and then do 1 HIIT workout a week and rest the other days. Can anyone provide any advice of where I go from here? How do I work in speed training and or work up mileage a little more? I'm not a confident 5 Ker either....thanks so much!
The general rule for mileage is to add no more than 10% to your weekly total. So go from 9 miles one week to 10 miles the next to 11, etc. It's usually done by adding a mile to one run at a time. You can also do this based on time. For instance, make each run 33 minutes, then 36, then 40. When you get to three 4 mile/40 minute runs, you should hold for a couple weeks before increasing further. After this hold period you could increase distance futher or introduce the HIIT workout while cutting back to 3 miles on (some or all of) your other runs (depending on how long the HIIT workout is). You shouldn't increase distance and speed at the same time.
The reason for caution in increasing distance or speed is to reduce the chance of injury. This is probably more true with speed as it makes for a more intense workout.